Meet Chatham’s New Director of Special Education
Meet Tamara Thorpe-Odom, Chatham Central School District’s new director of special education. Thorpe-Odom is also currently director of special education for the New Lebanon Central School District, and her heading up special education here in Chatham is part of a shared services agreement between the two districts designed to increase opportunities for students and achieve budgetary savings.
With nearly two decades spent working in public education, Thorpe-Odom has dedicated her career to meeting the needs of special education students.
"Special education is more than just about programs and services," she said. "It is about all students meeting and exceeding academic, social and emotional goals."
Thorpe-Odom has been New Lebanon’s director of special education for the past four years. Prior to that, she worked for fifteen years as a special education teacher for the Albany City School District. She has a master’s degree in Education Administration from the College of Saint Rose, as well as dual certification in special education and elementary education.
She lives in Albany with her husband Keith, and is the mother of three children, Sandra, Noah and Allana.
Thorpe-Odon began in Chatham over the summer and spends half her week in Chatham, the other half in New Lebanon. Regardless of where she is, she stays in close contact with her schools by taking advantage of video conferencing and other distance communication technology.
She assumed responsibilities for special education in Chatham from pupil personnel services director Dr. Jean Scheriff, to allow Dr. Scheriff to take on the greater administrative role posed by the new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR).